There are many reasons why someone might consider the laws regarding marriage fraud and how it can impact their lives. If marriage fraud or questions regarding marriage and citizenship concern you, you might want to consult with an Austin marriage fraud attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg.
If you are considering your need for legal assistance regarding a marriage fraud issue, it could be that someone has entered marriage with you with fraudulent intent to stay in the United States. You could also have genuinely fallen in love, married, and were unaware of the consequences but now face marriage fraud accusations. You can explore your legal options with a member of our team today. Reach out to us for a free consultation to get started.
What Is Marriage Fraud And Is It A Crime?
Marriage fraud is a federal crime. Even if you are the victim, you might want to seek legal counsel and hire an attorney to defend you. In Austin, look for a law firm that provides criminal defense services.
Laws that cover immigration into the United States are federal regulations. According to the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) pamphlet, marriage fraud is a crime and a severe threat to the nation’s security. It can also threaten banks, financial institutions, and the overall safety of the nation’s shores.
In some situations, someone had a temporary pass to be in the U.S. and discovered their time was ending and did not want to leave. The person could have good reason to want to stay. Their lives could be better in the U.S., or they could have real fears of returning to their homeland. Using marriage to stay can seem easy, but it is not a victimless crime. It impacts everyone’s safety.
Common Types Of Marriage Fraud
There are three common types of marriage fraud in the U.S., but you should be on the lookout for any variation of these schemes.
- A U.S. citizen is paid for marriage or given other favor.
- “Mail-order” marriage agreement, in which either or both parties understand it is fraud.
- Trickery: when an alien deceives a U.S. citizen into a marriage the citizen believes is real.
What Are The Penalties For Marriage Fraud?
People face desperate situations, and it is understandable that we don’t always make the right decisions when faced with hardships. You may have been concerned about a friend or loved one’s immigration status ending. Helping a loved one in their time of need is noble, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you enter a marriage for the wrong reasons, it can be a serious federal crime.
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Federal Time And Sentence Guidelines For Fraudulent Marriage
Since marriage fraud has severe implications for national security and is also managed by ICE, committing this crime is a federal felony. According to The Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act of 1986, you could face up to $250,000 in fines and prison time. Sentencing for marriage fraud could mean you could do up to five years in federal prison. It isn’t worth the risk.
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How Can A Law Firm Help If I’ve Been A Victim Of Marriage Fraud?
If you were the unknowing victim of a foreign alien who betrayed your trust, a criminal defense law firm can help you unravel the situation. You likely will need assistance protecting your assets and filing to end your marriage.
If you face charges for marriage fraud in Austin, a criminal law attorney can represent you and help prove that you had been deceived. Your attorney can use your reputation, work history, and witness testimony to help build your case. The law firm works with investigators who can gather the information needed to demonstrate your innocence in the fraudulent marriage to the court.
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Can An Austin Attorney Help If We’ve Been Wrongly Accused Of Marriage Fraud?
Generally, couples in this situation have gotten married and realize that the spouse is about to overstay their permission to be in the United States. The right thing to do is to file for permanent resident status, which generally waves a red flag in an official’s face that tells them you were married during your stay.
You should be aware that you may face a battle involving multiple appeals. An immigration judge might deny your spouse’s application for permanent residency. In the end, the government will also have to be the party to provide proof that your marriage was a fraud. Being in love isn’t a crime. You don’t have to be railroaded; a criminal defense attorney can help you show your relationship is genuine. A U.S. citizen can be charged and sentenced for the crime of marriage fraud.
An attorney can help you through this maze. They can defend your rights as well as file appeals. Love and marriage are sacred, and having an attorney to protect your right to be together as a couple may be essential to keeping your relationship. If you give up, the U.S. government could label you both as having been involved in marriage fraud, and your spouse will lose the ability ever to gain permanent residency.
Signs Investigators Look For To Determine A False Marriage
The U.S. government does not spare any expense in investigating individuals it believes are attempting to enter the country illegally. ICE authorities may interview you and your partner separately. The department may ask witnesses about your relationship, like neighbors and coworkers. An ICE worker might look for the following when trying to determine if a marriage is a fraud:
- Did the couple cohabitate before the marriage?
- Did an agency or a third party arrange the marriage?
- How well do the couple communicate? Can they speak the same language?
- What prompted the marriage?
- Was money exchanged?
Some people meet, fall in love, and marry for all the right reasons. If you face this investigation and interrogation over your relationship, an attorney can help guide you through the legal process. Having a legal expert with you can protect your rights, and they will help speak up on your behalf.
Call Today For Legal Help For An Austin Marriage Fraud Case
If you are facing tough questions from U.S. authorities about marriage fraud in the Austin area, contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. We have been helping clients with their cases for more than 30 years, and our attorneys understand this is a delicate problem that may require an attorney who knows criminal defense.
Our team’s investigators can help you gather the information you need to prove your defense. Let us help you today.
Call or text (214) 696-9253 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form